Industry charity, GroceryAid, experienced a 61% increase in instances of welfare support for colleagues last year, according to its Impact Report launched today.
The report also details a 98% increase in the number of Relate counselling sessions delivered in 2021, and a 101% increase in legal advice referrals. The GroceryAid Welfare Team also dealt with an average of 744 applications for financial support per month, a rise of more than 150% compared to the previous year.
The increase in demand for the GroceryAid’s services is the result of an unprecedented year of challenges and an increase in awareness of the charity. According to the report, issues such as illness, the need to shield, home school, care for loved ones, spiralling bills and bereavement have impacted industry colleagues’ wellbeing, finances and availability to work.
Throughout last year, GroceryAid has also ran several awareness campaigns to raise the charity’s profile throughout the industry, from shop floor through to head office, ensuring more colleagues are aware of the support available to them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In April of this year, more than 220 companies took part in its annual GA Day campaign: #LetsTalkGroceryAid.
“In the past year, GroceryAid has provided more emotional, practical and financial support than ever before in its 165-year history. Our industry is still feeling the fallout from the pandemic. As employers take admirable steps to protect colleagues from the emotional and economic aftermath of Covid, we are helping record numbers cope with the unforeseen changes to their personal circumstances. This year’s Impact Report outlines how we are using the generous donations of our supporters to improve the lives of our colleagues across the industry.”
– Allan Leighton, GroceryAid President
‘‘We still have a long way to go for financial and emotional recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are pleased to be able to support more colleagues than ever before. While the future can never be certain, it seems safe to assume that pressures experienced by many of our colleagues will not start to ease any time soon. We will continue to be here for everyone who needs us in the grocery industry.’’
– Mandi Leonard, GroceryAid Welfare Director